This past weekend was my writing group’s annual gathering. It was a great opportunity to share experiences with other romance writers who “get it.” Whether writing historical, contemporary, paranormal, inspirational or some combination, the women (and a few men) who attended all shared something in common.
Writers Get It
Writing can be a frustrating, tedious, nerve-wracking business. Frustrating, because not only do we have to figure out what our stories are about, but we also have to figure out what to do when our characters don’t cooperate with our plans for them. Tedious, because it takes a looong time to write 50,000 or 80,000 or 100,000 words – and that’s just the first draft! Nerve-wracking because all the while we are doing revisions to that thousands-of-words draft, we are wondering if anyone else will like our story.
All of this is a little hard to explain to someone who hasn’t lived it. I’m certain non-writers think we have slipped a nut or two when we talk about characters as though they are real. (Because, let’s face it. A character who has lived in your head for months feels nearly as real as that great-aunt you see each Thanksgiving.) And other people might not understand why we are compelled to spend months writing a story and months submitting it, hoping an editor will want to see more. I suppose it sounds like a form of self-torture, if you look at it from a non-writer’s standpoint.
Writers Are Nice
Romance writers don’t just understand; they are the nicest people I know. The RWA chapter I belong to is now on a biennial conference schedule, so it has been two years since I saw some of the other romance writers. It didn’t matter. We were able to catch up and share experiences as though we all saw each other last week. A young editor who was attending her first conference in the Midwest even commented on how friendly everyone was. It was no surprise to the rest of us at the table. I would feel comfortable seeking advice from any of the multi-published authors at the conference – and I know they would give it.
Go to a Conference
So, if you are an aspiring writer stumbling along by yourself – get yourself to a writing conference. You won’t regret it. And if you are a writer who has attended your share of conferences – I would love to hear your experiences.
I write historical fiction, and I invite you to share the journey to published author with me.